Khartoum — Sudan, Chad and the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement regulating the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from chad to the Sudan and from Sudan to Chad.
The joint Statement on the Occasion of the Signing of the Tripartite Agreements for the Voluntary Repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Chad and that of Chadian refugees from the Sudan, stressed that agreements signed in Khartoum on Wednesday represent internationally accepted legal standards that govern the voluntary repatriation of refugees and which all the Parties are fully committed to.
The agreement underlined that the return of the refugees is voluntary and in line with international laws and convention
"The formal act of signing the Agreements is important because it lays out the legal framework which ensures that refugee returns are strictly voluntary in nature." The agreement said.
However, it cautioned that the signature of the Agreements alone does not mean that the assisted return movements will begin tomorrow, adding that there was still work to be done by the Tripartite
Commissions, which will oversee the implementation of the Agreements, in order to ensure that returns occur in conditions of safety and dignity as well as ensuring that such returns are lasting.
The agreement said the three parties note that to-date, there have been sizeable spontaneous returns of Sudanese refugees from the camps in Chad as well as firm expressions of the intention to return home on the part of Chadian refugees living in the Sudan.
The agreement, signed in Khartoum said the parties decided to formalize the framework for repatriation which in turn has been informed by the freely expressed wishes of those who have returned, or who have expressed the wish to be assisted to return.
The three parties consented that the security situation in the Darfur region has generally improved for the better in most potential areas of return.
It said the parties will work closely to mobilize necessary resources to ensure that the returns are both dignified and lasting.